Let’s Talk About … Going Home for the Holidays

Even in the best of circumstances, the holiday season can bring up a variety of emotions. It can be a chance to recuperate from the stress of midterms and finals; but for others, the holidays can cause a mixture of stress and anxiety. For some it is a combination of both celebration and distress.

Returning home to friends and family may place you in situations that cause stress, discomfort or pain. For others, the holidays mean returning to a community of supportive and like-minded people. Holidays can also increase feelings of isolation and loneliness.

At Pacific we care about your well-being. Here are some tips for the holiday season.

1. Goals and Expectations

  • Check-in with yourself about your expectations for your time at home.
  • Create a few personal goals both to provide stability and to prevent boredom.
  • Reconnect with family and friends.
  • Allow yourself space to consider possible changes in yourself and in others, leaving room for flexibility in your expectations and schedule.
  • Try to be patient as you and your family “get to know each other” again.  

2. Have an exit strategy if things get too intense

  • Give yourself a break if you feel overwhelmed. Go for a walk, run an errand or step away to use the restroom.
  • Take some deep breaths and visualize yourself in a soothing environment like the beach, the mountains, or whatever space best calms you.
  • Grounding exercises can also be helpful. Try noticing 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can smell, 2 things you can feel and 1 thing you can taste.

3. Self-Care

  • Consider what refuels your energy, and what rejuvenates your spirit.
  • Catch up on sleep.
  • Exercise, meditate, drink plenty of water.
  • Take a break from family or friends.
  • Read, cook, create art, play video games, etc.
  • Spend time with a pet.
  • Take a bubble bath.

For more information and resources, head to the Student Counseling webpage.

Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019